Thursday, 17 December 2009
If not Holmgren, Who?
By Kyle Rota...
"If not Holmgren, who?" is a pretty common question in Seahawks Nation. While it's extremely difficult to know who is a riser and who is not, I've asked around and done a bit of research. By no means is this list comprehensive, but the names are highly recommended and have good track records. NOTE: The order is not ranked by preference, just by the order I remembered the names.
Steve Keim, Director of Player Personnel, Arizona Cardinals: He played offensive line for NC State but never really made much impact professionally. He's a younger guy, mid-late thirties (graduated college in 1995). Gets a lot of credit for the big draft picks Arizona has made, has a really good reputation. The Cardinals are doing quite a bit with very little ownership support, so it might be worthwhile to see what he could do with the resources Seattle could offer. Articles I've read have painted him as good with people, which is of key importance IMO. He's never been "the man", working under Rod Graves, but most of the guys on my list are "fresh faces", just the way the recommendations turned out. Talks about not reaching for need as being a major philosophy, FWIW. The downside is that he bears a striking resemblance to Bill Bavasi.
Steve Malin, Scout, New York Giants: Feel like taking a risk? Then Malin is your guy. The former scout I know says that Malin is "the best scout I know of". Another young guy (not sure on exact age, but saw a picture and he looks pretty young), he has a bit of a coaching background (very minor, SMU was the biggest name where he was an assistant coach). In truth, probably not the pick I choose just because there isn't much known about his ability to run a franchise. Supposedly extremely thorough and a hard worker, and if he is as competent at running a franchise as he is at scouting he could be a great pick. Sounds like a guy in need of a promotion, at least.
Lionel Vital, Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Atlanta Falcons: So if you feel like finding a guy who has learned from the most successful franchises out there, Vital may be your man. This might be my favorite choice. He's a little risky as he hasn't had the experience of, say, Keim or some names further down the list. He's worked under Bill Belichick, Ozzie Newsome, Bill Parcels, Scott Pioli, and now Thomas Dmintroff. Vital has a lot of experience, played RB for a few years (never very good), heck he even played professional baseball. He's certainly had the opportunity to learn from the best, though some Seattle fans may hesitate to grab the "Next Big Thing" out of Atlanta. Haven't been able to find much in the way of articles, but he came very highly recommended. Has experience looking at players from a 4-3 and a 3-4 perspective, which I personally like as it means the team wouldn't be "locked" into one defensive mindset just because the GM has grown up with it (Ruskell and Tampa 2).
Eric DeCosta, Director of Player Personnel, Baltimore Ravens: This is the "superstar" pick. DeCosta gets his name thrown out a lot, as far as these things are concerned. I'm not sure how keen Baltimore would be to let him get away, but you almost have to try to book an interview with him. He views OL, S, and RB as "easy" to scout in an interview he did, which is something we could use the help me. He's been with Baltimore since the Ravens/Browns moved there. Another younger guy, he's 38 or so if my math is decent. Baltimore doesn't always get their picks right, but they sure manage to get enough of them to remain relevant in most years.
Kevin Colbert, Director of Football Operations, Pittsburgh Steelers: He's been running things for Pittsburgh for a while, so he has the experience. I wouldn't have put him on here except that, according to my source, he might be willing to relocate for a "President" role like Seattle gave Ruskell, even if it was largely just a glorified GM job. Pittsburgh speaks for itself and Colbert has been de-facto leader for years there, so he's more of a known quantity. (Mike Gorscak is another name from Pittsburgh, he's a scout there so very high risk, but my source seemed to have a high opinion of him)
Dave Razzano, Unemployed: Formerly worked as a scout with the Arizona Cardinals. Has been in the NFL for 21 years before being fired this year by AZ. No idea why he was fired, bears looking into but good luck finding it online. Has the experience, pedigree (his father was a major pioneer in scouting), and the recommendation from my source. Not sure I'd be all over this move, but my source seemed to think he was a possibility when teams go looking for GMs, so I figured I'd include him.
Posted by Kyle Rota